Mastering some basic search techniques can improve your results and save you time.
Keyword searching--Watch this tutorial from the University of Missouri-St. Louis
Boolean operators (AND, OR, AND NOT) These words are used to combine your search terms. See the graphic to the right.
Truncation--Use the asterisk * to retrieve all variants of a word. For example, environ* will retrieve environment, environmentalist, environmental. But be careful! Env* will retrieve envelope or envelopes or envy. You will get many irrelevant items.
Phrase searching--If your search term is a phrase, e.g., physical geology, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. "Physical geology" is a more specific search than typing the words separately.
Here are some helpful tutorials for those times when you can't reach a librarian or you just need a refresher!